Spotlight on Life-Pod and iPower
In the spotlight this time (10 Feb – 24 Feb) is Linda Fay of Life-Pod, a Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Edinburgh, that provides expert advice and practical support to people suffering from chronic disorganisation and its related challenges. Get in touch with Linda on 07841 289673 / firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? We provide expert advice and practical support to people suffering from chronic disorganisation and its related challenges. We specialise in clutter management, hoarding issues, and Adult ADHD. We understand the complex issues surrounding these conditions, and adopt a person-centred approach to ensure we provide long-term solutions and benefits. We also provide Hoarding Awareness training for professionals.
How do you do it? Mostly, we work with individuals in their home and start by helping them to understand more about their condition and identify their specific areas of difficulty. Depending on a client’s aims and their ability, we work side-by-side, at their pace, adopting a coaching approach and helping them to make (often difficult) decisions about their belongings. It requires patience, compassion and a positive, non-judgemental attitude.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? I have always been a self-starter and have an unconventional streak running through me, which has led me to continually seek new opportunities and innovative ways of doing things. I enjoy collaborating; I see connections and like to join up people and possibilities. I also enjoy making decisions and taking (calculated) risks. After many years working in large corporate organisations I came to the realisation that I was living a life that didn’t fit and I wanted to do something that was more in line with my personal values and beliefs. A couple of years ago I discovered the world of social enterprise and I’ve never looked back – it fits!
What are your current projects? We have just received funding approval to develop, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, a prototype Hoarding Interventions Toolkit and Training Programme for housing, health and social care teams. And, perhaps more importantly, we are focused on providing urgent pro bono support to one of our newest clients who is at risk of homelessness.
What exciting things do you have coming up? We’re preparing to launch our new DIY Declutter Workshop – just in time for folks who are preparing for a spring clear out. Keep an eye on our website for more information!
Who do you want to work with more? Housing, health and social care teams, mental health charities, families of people who hoard and other social entrepreneurs.
What’s your biggest challenge? Funding! I regularly talk to health and social care professionals who have many clients that would benefit from the specialist support Life-Pod provides, but funding the work is difficult. To support people properly – ensuring long-term benefits, takes time and patience.
What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Feel the fear and do it anyway!
In the spotlight this time (24 Feb – 10 March) is Jon Cape and iPower, a social enterprise that develops solar PV, fuel cell and other low carbon projects, based in Edinburgh. Get in touch with Jon Cape at email@example.com www.ipoweruk.com
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? Cutting carbon and cutting energy bills for all and especially for the least well off.
How do you do it? We work with local authorities, housing associations, community groups and other owners of property and land to develop and, where needed, finance low carbon projects. How we do it depends on the customer requirement. We may provide a fully funded energy services (esco) service which provides low cost energy for tenants and other energy users, or we may provide access to finance for the site owner or project manager on their behalf. In some cases we develop projects in our own right or with a local community group under agreements with site owners, for example for large scale solar PV.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? A real desire to help bring about a shift towards a low carbon sustainable economy and society in which benefits are shared more equitably.
What are your current projects? Some examples: a 1000 roof social landlord solar PV project, pilot stage fuel cell projects, a biomass project with a community organisation.
What exciting things do you have coming up? New stages of solar technology and large scale roll out of fuel cell micro CHP with big benefits for low income communities.
Who do you want to work with more? Owners of any suitable buildings and sites for medium to large scale projects. For example, this could include third sector and community organisations with access to land suitable for large scale solar PV – to bring them a long term income with a fair share of benefit rather than the nominal benefits for the community which many commercial wind projects have provided.
What’s your biggest challenge? Time.
What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Be prepared for a rollercoaster!